42. Deserted Beach


Moon-green shingle, pallid sand.

The sea in molten metal sleeping;

A roving filament, bright band,

From distant lighthouse thinly creeping.


Dead-white visage, haughty moon,

A sky of violet smoothly covering;

Debris of careless rapture strewn,

The winding stars like kestrels hovering.


Only the curlew’s broken cry

Where children played and quarrelled, screaming.

Only a far glim passing by

Where horizons were blue and dreaming.


Only the night wind moves about,

The shingle trod by breezes only;

Murmuring sights for the boisterous shout.

A place of shadows, cold and lonely.


Children grow.  Tomorrows pass.

The aged die.  The unborn gather.

All transient as the breath on glass.

And shed as sheds the gull his feather.


But shingle, sand and waiting seas

Are quick with earth’s undying motioin.

This is the world we dare not see,

Impersonal as the boundless ocean.